100,000 Milestone, and changes to the licence

We’re happy to announce that Opera Dragonfly has reached the 100,000 active daily users milestone. While it pales in comparison to our browser usage–where Opera Mini and Opera desktop both hit 50 Million active monthly users recently–it is an impressive amount of Web developers who test in Opera each day. With the help of those developers, we can improve Opera’s Web site compatibility, and create a better experience for our users. A big thank you to all our Opera Dragonfly users so far. We hope to rapidly increase this figure as Opera Dragonfly matures.

One change we’ve recently put in place for the Opera Dragonfly project is to switch from the BSD licence to Apache 2.0. While BSD is a liberal licence, the reason we switched to Apache 2.0 is that we wanted to have a patent promise which covers Opera Dragonfly and the Scope protocol. The following is stated in Opera’s Vision:

Opera Software does not believe innovation in the software industry is protected or encouraged by software patents. In particular, we believe interoperability on the Internet should be encouraged, and we actively work to ensure that software patents do not stand in the way of interoperability.

Although Opera doesn’t believe in software patents, and only applies for them to protect ourselves from attacks by other aggressive patent holders, it is important to have a patent policy in place to protect any company that makes use of the Scope protocol or Opera Dragonfly, from any patents held by Opera or any other contributor. This reduces the risk of adopting the Scope protocol, in similar ways to how the W3C has a patent policy to protect companies implementing their specifications. We found when evaluating this issue that the Apache 2.0 licence has the patent policy built into it that we need, as well as being as liberal as the then current BSD licence. We hope this will encourage other browser vendors and user agents to look into the Scope protocol, which was designed from the ground up to support advanced features such as remote debugging.